[Top] [All Lists]

Re: tap-n-die sets

To: Will Zehring <>
Subject: Re: tap-n-die sets
From: "W. Ray Gibbons" <>
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 1995 10:22:53 -0400 (EDT)
On Fri, 2 Jun 1995, Will Zehring wrote:

> *does* have to do with the tools we use on our lbcs.  I am coming around to 
> the idea that it is past time for me to shop for and buy a nice tap and die 
> set.  Tools and tool brands can be a personal thing, but I need some advice. 
>  Regarding tap and die sets...  my questions are...

> metric) but what about threading?  fine? coarse?...[actually, both, I 
> assume].   What is a good size range to get?  I'm not on terms with thinking 
> of bolts and nuts in sizes.  Here to fore I just think of them as fitting or 
> not fitting.  

> Will "lost on the learning curve" Zehring

> P.S.  If you hurry I can drop hints to my wife re: my xxth birthday  =:o

Will, you have to be careful you don't lose control on the learning 

Unless you are into machine work, you will rarely ever need dies. 
If the threads of bolts or studs are dirty or a little rusty, clean 
them with a wire wheel mounted on a bench grinder.  If the threads are 
truly screwed up, I grant you you can restore their appearance with a 
tap, but you wouldn't want to trust them to hold anything 
critical--buy new bolts or studs if the threads are stripped.

Taps are very useful, but you need relatively few sizes.  Start with
10-32, 1/4-28, 5/16-24, 3/8-24, and 7/16-20 (all are NF threads) and a
couple of decent T-handles to fit the square ends (I yearn for the ratchet
T handles sold by Griots).  Stud threads or threads in aluminum parts are
often coarse thread, so if you do much engine work, add some coarse thread
taps, say 1/4-20, 5/16-18, 3/8-16, and 7/16-14 (NC threads).  This will
handle virtually all of your needs. 

I think Sears quality should be fine; all you really need are decent
quality carbon steel tools.  I have a jaundiced view of "sets."  Inspect
any set that says it includes "inch sizes."  Quite often, the cheaper sets
only include the coarse threads, not the NF ones that you will use most
often on an LBC, and they will include dies that I contend you will rarely
need.  And of course, you will immediately break or lose the ones you use
most often.  Eventually, you will end up wanting to buy single taps, so
you may as well just start out that way.  Most supply houses and many auto
parts stores sell single taps; I just buy the taps I need.


   Ray Gibbons  Dept. of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
                Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
        (802) 656-8910

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>